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Recitalathon statistics

June 5, 2011

• 3 performances (there were actually 4, but I only had students at 3, thank goodness)
• 80 pieces
• 5 teachers
• over 100 students
• countless parental and grandparental paparazzi snapping a blinding array of photos and videos
• 1 violin narrowly saved from one of the paparazzi who wasn’t looking where she was sitting
• 11 performances of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
• 3 drumsets performing at once on Mancini’s Theme from Peter Gunn
• 14 rock bands (2 with violin)
• 1 singer, age 12, who I predict will be on the stage at the Metropolitan Opera some day, singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies” with an exquisite voice, amazing maturity, and age-appropriate good vocal technique – a rarity
• 1 drummer who had us on our feet
• 2 bongo players
• 1 egotistical guitar teacher who drowned out students with his solos
• 1 boss who inspires me by inspiring the kids
• 70 kids in flip-flops
• 7 girls in black patent leather Mary Janes with white socks
• 1 boy in shorts, a white, long-sleeved button down shirt, a vest (as from a three-piece suit), and a bowler hat.
• 1 tiny singer (age 6 or 7) who had us all weeping for her cuteness and showmanship
• 6 tiny girls comparing concert fashions before singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious.”
• 1 prop hat caught by me
• 6 violin students who kicked butt
• 1 tired violin teacher

There were so many wonderful moments today. I keep replaying them in my head. 8 hours of student rehearsals and recitals sounds grueling, but it was pure joy. I love watching each and every one of them get up there. They remind me of how hard it is to get up there and play all by yourself, of how totally cool it is for them to be doing it. I always go into these things thinking I’m going to need a drink and a lot of aspirin and I always come home feeling motivated and inspired.

My littlest, newest student came in a fancy dress with a petticoat and shiny new shoes. She is the youngest of four. Her three older siblings, all boys and all a lot older than she is, all came. They were making faces at her while she sat, nervously waiting for her turn and they reminded her to pick up her violin while she was playing. They clapped and yelled for her as she finished, smiling shyly.

Superman, who is, I think, the kind of kid who likes to take things apart, was waiting to do a soundcheck for his piece before the concert when the pianist opened the lid of the baby grand piano. He got a look inside and yelled, “WHOA!” Afterwards he wanted to see how the hammers worked.

The Little Redhaired Girl played alone, refusing an accompanist, her jaw locked with determination. She likes to bow. She bowed rapidly several times and then curtsied for good measure.

My middle schooler was so nervous. I played a duet part with her and I could hear her muttering under her breath, “I’m not scared.” She played her piece better than she ever has.

One of my high school students, who plays beautifully, gets very nervous. She played her first piece with her sister on piano and she had very fast vibrato from her shaky hands. But when she played in her rock band, she, well, rocked.

The other high school student played a difficult concerto better than she ever had. I embarrassed her by pointing out to the audience after she was finished, that she had been playing with a broken finger. Her rock band stopped the show.

The director of this studio puts an incredible amount of work into these recitals. It’s not only her business. It’s a true labor of love. She inspires me too, with her faith in these kids, her encouragement and generosity towards them. I hope she’s home with her feet up and a cocktail in her hand. She’s definitely earned it.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    June 6, 2011 9:11 am

    Glad everything went well. 70 pairs of flipflops? My kids keep begging me to let them wear them to school and I refuse. I don’t care how many of their friends are wearing them. They are not for school! I am a terrible, bad mother for being so unyielding!

  2. June 6, 2011 9:13 am

    They were fancy flip-flops mostly — bedazzled. And if truth be told, I was wearing a nice leather pair of flip flops myself. I had to stand for 8 hours. I wasn’t wearing heels. I am similarly ogrish on my stance about Crocs (there was a pair of those too).

  3. June 6, 2011 9:50 am

    I like the bowler hat. I’ll bet it wasn’t lime green. Because I’ve searched and searched for one in that color!

  4. June 6, 2011 9:53 am

    It was white with assorted musical symbols on it!

  5. June 6, 2011 10:38 am

    oh, that’s fun!

  6. June 6, 2011 10:44 am

    Here you go, Jeanne.

  7. June 6, 2011 2:59 pm

    Thong sandals are not flip flops; they’re just sandals. Plastic shoes of all types are not appropriate at a recital, but I haven’t had anyone ask my fashion advice. Um, ever.

    I love that our recital is for just our one piano teacher and her students. Smaller! We are not allowed to photograph or videotape except at the rehearsal, the Friday before. I find it annoying and good at the same time.

  8. June 6, 2011 5:33 pm

    a lovely music hat

  9. June 8, 2011 3:32 pm

    That is completely exhausting. And utterly charming.

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